Teacher Appreciation Week—Day 2

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Since 1984, the National PTA has been celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week during the first full week of May. But when we remember the teachers we’ve had, what is it that we appreciate about them? I asked that question of my World Book colleagues. This week, we’ll share with you some of our memories about favorite teachers.

  • My English teacher during my senior year of high school, Mr. Miller, was very encouraging. He told me often that I was very bright. He made me realize that the ability to write well is a gift worth working at. His belief in me had an enormous impact on my belief in myself. I am so grateful for his encouragement!
  • When I moved from Wisconsin to New Mexico during my freshman year in high school, I joined a class led by Tom, a teacher in his late 20’s. Many of his students connected with his youthful informality and ability to communicate without any teacher-wall separation. I immediately fell into that group. Tom taught journalism and set me on a career path that eventually led me to World Book. He loved drama and the theater and kindled a spark for the subject in me that led to a sideline reviewing plays. I left New Mexico after college, and Tom became a professor at New Mexico State until shortly before his death at the age of 88. We exchanged letters during that entire time. I’m sure hundreds of students could write eloquent tributes to how he impacted their lives, personally and professionally. He shaped my life and I miss him to this day.

Is there a particular trait that people seem to appreciate most about teachers? Read the blog entries later this week to see if you’re right.

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